The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said mobile payment is gaining a lot of grounds in Nigeria, and that the policy is being taken beyond cash-in-cash-out remittances and top up.
CBN’s Director of Banking and Payment System Department, Mr Dipo Fatokun, revealed this in Lagos at a one day conference themed: Mobile Money and Financial Inclusion: “What’s the Next Big Thing?” organised by Leeds Bryan International Limited and the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.
Fatokun pointed out that there is an ongoing agreement between the CBN and mobile network operators to ensure that there is sustainable and hitch-free transaction of mobile payments within the economy, adding that Nigeria would soon move to 4G internet service, which is a broader network, from the current 3G.
“We in Central Bank, on the issue of connectivity, we are at the last stage of an MOU signing with Nigerian Communication Satellite (NICOMSAT) such that they would provide Wi-Fi technology at various locations in Nigeria so that connectivity would be made easier,” he added.
On CBN’s strategy to avert mobile transaction fraud, Fatokun explained that there is an already established guideline on electronic banking. which is also applicable to mobile payment, explaining that there are specifications of systems through which to transact business.
He added that there are technical details on what to deploy.
Fatokun explained that phones that do not have the specified security features as specified by NCC would not work for mobile payment and transactions.
The Managing Partner and CEO of Leeds Bryan International Limited, Mr Biyi Adeyemo, stated that mobile money’s importance to the national economy cannot be over-emphasised as it necessitates financial inclusion of everyone that is involved.
While explaining that it will also enhance better financial services, Adeyemo pointed out that mobile money is relevant for farmers, even in the rural areas, since through it, they can calculate weather to situate farming season and periods.
“In health, people would be able to get prompt services at the convenience of their homes without having to move around. It can also help in diagnosing ailments affecting patients with doctors having access to relevant information on them. On insurance, you’ll able to initiate claims and access your premium payment without needing to go there physically”, he added.
David Hutchful, Technical Program Manager, Grameen Foundation, Ghana, while speaking on the topic: Leveraging Mobile Phone Technology for Improved Public Health, stated that “mobile health allows medical practitioners to reach anyone anywhere. For example, in rural areas, nurses are able to reach out to their patients without needing to see them physically.
It also helps to gather and collect data for healthcare, meaning that relevant information are on ground for medical practitioners anywhere’.
He clarified that this is not new in Africa, saying that a lot of health initiatives have since been on the continent.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, represented by Mr. Bolaji Akinboro, while speaking on the topic: “MaximiSing Mobile Technologies to Improve Agricultural Productivity and Rural Income,” stated that mobile money initiative would help farmers to access information on farm products and fertilisers – its location and availability, thus creating dialogue with the government.